The No Fear Music 2007 Tour Hits Washington, DC
Band Photo: Killswitch Engage (?)
On Saturday, March 3, 2007 I went downtown yet again to the 9:30 club to see Chimaira, Dragonforce and Killswitch Engage perform the second of two sold out shows on the DC stop of the No Fear Music Tour. He Is Legend were openning the show, but due to prior commitments, I wasn't able to catch them.
I arrived a couple songs into Chimaira's set. The club was already packed very close to capacity. Chimaira continued to belt out what would be the heaviest songs and performance of the night with songs mostly from their previous two albums "Chimaira" and "The Impossibility of Reason." They played a couple of new songs from their then-upcoming album (since released March 6), "Ressurection," as well. "Needle" seemed very heavy and fit well within their set. Other favorites included "Pure Hatred" and staple slow-and-heavy song "Salvation."
Chimaira have improved their stage presence to the point that they can just be themselves on stage, and the band were clearly in their element, having a good time while rocking the audience for their entire 35 or 40 minute set. I would have loved to see them play longer, and believe they could have held the second slot on the tour, but there were clearly tons of Dragonforce fans in the crowd as well. Alas, Chimaira's set ended all too quickly for my taste.
The second headlining spot was held by power metal sextet Dragonforce. While I'm not a big Dragonforce fan myself, their fans were present in full force that night. Dragonforce t-shirts were to be seen everywhere in the audience - moreso than any other band shirt. Unlike many power metal acts that focus on symphonic and synthesized sounds, Dragonforce focuses on its power guitar attack, led by its most recongnizable member of the band, Herman Li. Their performance was full of energy and clearly a crowd pleaser. Most of the band spent a good portion of time playing together front and center on a small platform there, interacting with the fans and each other.
I couldn't name a single song Dragonforce played, but they played a good variety of fast-paced songs as well as sing-alongs. After the first three or four songs, much of the near hour-long set blended together.
Headliners Killswitch Engage finally took the stage around 10:00 pm. Adam Dutkiewicz was still out recovering from back surgery and Damageplan frontman and Halford/Diesel Machine guitarist Pat Lachman was filling in for him. After some early technical problems with Pat's guitar, the band got down to business. Contrary to Adam's attention-grabbing antics, Pat simply played his guitar with his head down and bobbing to the rhythm, interacting with the band and audience once in a while. Frontman Howard Jones talked the crowd up at several points and was clearly enjoying putting on a performance that night.
Killswitch alternated between heavy and melodic songs from their latest three Roadrunner offerings for about an hour and a half. Nearly every song has a melodic chorus that can be sung along to, making their performance not your usual metal performance. As a result, the pits did not sustain for very long and there was a lot more singing along than in most metal shows. Some of their best sing alongs include "My Last Serenade," "A Bid Farewell" and "Rose of Sharyn."
Even without Adam D., Killswitch Engage put on a solid performance - the entire band has a good stage presence and they click with each other and the audience naturally.
Overall the No Fear Music Tour was a good show with some excellent bands who have large followings. While Killswitch Engage has a place in my music collection, I prefer shows with more aggressive bands and would have loved to see Chimaira play a longer set. Still, there's something to be said for the positive vibe of the show and the audience participation and at the end of the night I was satisfied with another fun concert experience at the 9:30 club.
Photos from the show have been posted in the photo gallery.
The No Fear Music 2007 Tour is about half over, running through April 8th in Chicago. Check it out at one of the following dates if you get the chance:
March 16th in Phoenix, AZ @ TBA
March 17th in Los Angeles, CA @ House of Blues
March 19th in Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
March 20th in Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
March 22nd in Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern LG
March 23rd in San Diego, CA @ Soma
March 24th in San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
March 25th in Portland, OR @ Roseland Theatre
March 26th in Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
March 30th in Salt Lake City, UT @ Salt Air Pavilion
March 31st in Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium
April 1st in Kansas City, MO @ The Beaumont Club
April 2nd in Minneapolis, MN @ Myth
April 5th in Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theater
April 6th in Detroit, MI @ State Theatre
April 7th in Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
April 8th in Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
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